It is a village 28Km from the main road. The only way being a narrow trek-path. This is about a village called ‘Gethe’ in the Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Populated with 25 houses. The people of this village are an inspiring lot.

History provides light into why this village is where it is. During the pre-independence era even before the Macmohan Line (The conflicted boundary line between India and China) was declared, this village was an important market in the trade between the locals and the Tibetians. ‘Salt’, was the chemical which made these people move to these extreme spots which back-then were nearer to Tibet. In those times salt was purchased in exchange for animal skins and humans.

Today, the direction of the wind has changed. Since Independence and the statehood declaration of Arunachal development began not from the border end but from the Southern side. This has resulted in the village becoming isolated, underdeveloped and ancient.

They lack the basic facilities which one takes for granted in the populous cities of our country. Be it the access to a good pathway to even walk, a safe bridge to climb onto, continual electricity supply and medical aid for simple ailments such as Diarrhoea.

People die out of Diarrhoea and insect bites because the nearest hospital is about 50Km from their village. In an emergency, they carry their patients on intricately woven baskets for half the distance and wait for a kind soul to give lift in case they miss the 9:00AM ‘Sumo’ service to Kaying- The nearest hospital. Sumos are the only mode of transport and that too is only once in a day.

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Gethe Village

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Garra sp.
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With the Men of Might
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An old bamboo plate.
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